Margaret Chrystall, Highland News [4/5]

Now this is a bit complicated. This mini-abum’s the last release of a fictional band whose Highland tour is at the core of the new novel The Ossians. Seven tracks of fiendish indie, sometimes sweet, sometimes blisteringly noisy and sometimes too good never to be performed, ever. Who knows, writer Doug Johnstone is also a member of Fence Collective outfit Northern Alliance, and maybe he’ll relent and give this mythical band a real-life existence. In the book, a music journalist likens Ossians’ music to “Sparklehorse, Bright Eyes, Midlake, Rilo Kiley or The Hold Steady”. But lead singer Connor adds Biffy Clyro, Mogwai, Boards of Canada, King Creosote, Deus, Super Furry Animals, The Arcade Fire and Sigur Ros into the mix.

You can hear most of those in there. The Haar – name of the evil east coast fog that comes in to swamp a sunny day – is a haunting, hypnotic song of regret, Geometry has echoes of Idlewild, My Evil Twin and Justified Sinner have punky, fizzing guitars and some of the best lyrics on the mini-album. Perfect listening as you read about the Ossians’ disastrous Highland tour.

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